Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Students cope with being away from siblings

As the remnants of Ohio University’s Family Weekend 2023 linger through the air, many students are feeling the distance from their loved ones more than ever. Specifically, students are coping with their long-distance relationships with their siblings both old and young. 

Siblings are a big part of students’ lives; however, leaving for college can disrupt that relationship, no matter how close-knit. Many students have had this experience before, with an older sibling leaving for college. Some students are experiencing this distance for the first time being apart from younger siblings or twins. Simply knowing that other students are dealing with the same situation can be comforting to know. 

Mia Sammons, a freshman studying journalism, is feeling this distance for the first time being away from her identical twin sister, Julia, who goes to Xavier University, and her younger brother, Jack, who is in middle school.

During high school, Mia and her sister were involved in many of the same things, such as cheer and soccer. From being involved in so much together and seeing each other every day to being far away from each other is a change that has definitely altered the dynamic of their relationship. However, their closeness to each other has anything but changed. 

“I call her every single day,” said Sammons. “I pretty much talk to her about everything…it really sucks not being together to do our little inside jokes about certain things or if something's bothering us just being able to hash it out right away in person.”

Sammons describes her sister in a way that only shows the closeness and meaningfulness of their relationship even more. 

“We have the same humor,” she said. “We think about things the same. I would say (she’s) literally my other half.”

Sammons says her sister plans on visiting Athens soon and she wants to show off her new favorite spots around uptown. 

While a visit to Athens every now and again is feasible for Sammons, for others, it is not as easy as a car or bus ride. Sydney Boosveld, a sophomore studying communications, is coping with a sibling relationship with a more difficult distance away. Sydney’s sister is in graduate school in Athens, Georgia, and while their relationship is strong, it can be difficult to find time to spend together in person.

Boosveld says the next time she will see her sister is around the holidays. Despite this, they still communicate often and still have a close relationship with one another.

“I was already used to her being gone when she was going to undergrad,” said Boosveld. “By now we've gotten into the system where we were still able to communicate and share things with each other. So it's going fine for us.”

Having an older sibling who has been through the undergraduate experience can be extremely beneficial for someone experiencing it all for the first time. Boosveld says her sister helped her with finding an apartment for the next school year, and she is extremely grateful she has her to rely on. 

“I was just looking at apartments and stuff yesterday,” she said. “I'm really overwhelmed. I did want to talk to her and she was really helpful with that and she was just a really good person to talk to and one of the people who I value the most in my life.”

Sibling dynamics can be like having a best friend built into one’s family. For Abby Rishforth, a freshman studying political science, this is exactly how it feels between her and her older brother, Anthony.

Rishforth explains how she and her brother have been playing instruments together since they were younger. She plays the guitar and her brother plays the drums. They bond together through the power of rock music.

“He's three years older than me,” said Rishforth. “So he got a little bit of an earlier start, and he inspired me to love music. My parents have also inspired the both of us. Rock music is genuinely what we do. He taught me how to play the electric guitar. That's just something that I’ll always cherish for him.”

Rishforth explains her brother stepped into a paternal role in her family a couple of years ago, becoming more of a father figure for her. She says this is something that she could never repay him for and is forever grateful.

Anthony had come up for the family weekend and joined his sister for a classic Athens experience. 

“He actually came down here last weekend, and he stayed in my room on a little air mattress,” Rishforth said. “We love just like going on walks. We go to the gym together a lot. So I got to show him around. He didn't go to college. He went to a trade school and got into mechanics, and so this experience for him was super cool. He was really into it.”

Rishforth says she gets to see her brother soon at an upcoming family gathering within the next couple of weeks and is looking forward to seeing him again. 

Siblings can be a best friend, a shoulder to cry on and an occasional nuisance all in one. While being far away can certainly be a challenge, impairing a relationship as strong as one between siblings will take a lot more than a different location. 

“I sympathize with anyone that has to leave a sibling that they're really close with,” said Sammons.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH